PRECIOUS-Gold eases as dollar recovers lost ground, investors gauge Powell testimony


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    * Silver eases off three-week peak 
    * Platinum dips to more than 1-week low
    * Palladium touches near 3-week trough

 (Updates prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    Feb 23 (Reuters) - Gold edged lower in choppy trade on
Tuesday as the dollar recovered ground lost in the immediate
wake of comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome
Powell, who said the economic recovery was "uneven and far from
    Spot gold  XAU=  was down 0.3% at $1,803.62 an ounce by 2:10
p.m. EST (1910 GMT), after briefly moving into positive
territory as the dollar dipped following Powell's comments. 
    U.S. gold futures  GCv1  settled down 0.1% at $1,805.90.
    Powell said it will be "some time" before the Fed considers
changing policies it adopted to help the economy get back to
full employment and he "does not expect inflation to rise to
troubling levels."*:nL1N2KS1RK*:nS0N2JQ00Q
    "There's been a little volatility around Powell's Senate
appearance but he hasn't really said anything to rock the boat,"
OANDA analyst Craig Erlam said.
    "Despite the volatility, we haven't seen any significant
directional movement in yields or the dollar, which is why gold
is only marginally lower, a reflection of the dollar being a
little higher."
    The dollar index  .DXY  crawled back up 0.2%, moving away
from near a six-week low, making gold more expensive for holders
of other currencies.  USD/   .N 
    But gold might not reverse course to gain substantially
"until we get a real spike in inflation expectations or a Fed
that talks about controlling the yield curve," said IG Market
analyst Kyle Rodda.  MKTS/GLOB 
    Rising yields have challenged bullion's appeal as an
inflation hedge, since they increase the opportunity cost of
holding gold.  US/ 
    Gold jumped 1.5% on Monday as prospects of rising inflation
triggered equity valuation concerns and drove investors toward 
the safe-haven metal.
    Silver  XAG=  dropped 2.4% to $27.49 an ounce, having
earlier hit a three-week peak at $28.31.
    Platinum  XPT=  slipped 3.3% to $1,230.54, after touching a
more than one-week low earlier in the session. Palladium  XPD= 
lost 2% to $2,349.26.

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Jan Harvey
and Matthew Lewis)
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